Dr. Charles Stanley’s podcast message from May 18th titled “Peace With Ourselves” is outstanding.
He touches upon Psalms 34:14 – departing from evil and seeking peace.
Also Acts 24:16 – maintaining a blameless conscience before God and men.
I use the Pocket Casts app and highly recommend it for filling your mind with positive content instead of allowing your own negative self talk from shaping what you become. Check it out. Android Play iTunes
Also over at InTouch.org you can listen online to this message. Peace with Ourselves Podcast
There may be a moment where you find yourself not appreciating someone else and that could be for any number of reasons. In those moments this becomes a joy stealer. I’m allowing that emotion to negatively color my happiness, which can then impact my time with others, the decisions I make, and my productivity.
Thinking about it from that angle makes me realize the heavy cost of allowing my feelings about others to affect me. There has to be a better way to handle this, if just for my sake and other things important to me which have zero to do with an individual.
My thought of a solution came down to this: create value in that person. Make them valuable in your own eyes. If you believe in God, then choose to look at them as God sees them: a valuable soul with immeasurable worth despite their shortcomings. That can perhaps feel like I am turning my perspective upside down. But making a decision to choose to value someone, even when you don’t ‘feel’ like it, is powerful in my experience.
And this can then change the way you interact with this person, which may set off a series of other changes which are all positive, such as you getting to know that person better and actually ‘feeling’ the value you placed on them earlier.
But even if it does nothing in that sense, you are still helping yourself to protect your own contentment, and thus enable yourself to be a ‘better’ you for everything else around you.
Andy Stanley has a great prayer that we can lift up to God either with someone else, or by ourselves, to seek out whatever challenges may lay ahead for us, and then be able to handle them as best we can:
“Heavenly Father, help us see trouble coming long before it gets here. And then give us the wisdom to know what to do, and the courage to do it.”
When we see trouble coming – we need to Do Something. Andy outlines 4 words to help us for upcoming troubles:
- Take Action. You have to do something.
- Be ready to Sacrifice. There may be costs to incur, but they will likely be less than ‘not’ doing something.
- Prepare for possible Embarrassment. People may not understand why you will be doing something because they will not have the full story. Be okay with that.
- Find Relief. In taking refuge, you will not regret the benefits that come from that.
This comes from his message titled “Praying Ahead” from the “Pack Your Bags” series.
From the Sermon on the Mount study podcast of Andy Stanley’s “Who needs God?” series – he went through each one of the “B – Attitudes”. Of particular note – “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see the kingdom of God.” and Andy explained that those who are living ‘clean’ and ‘pure’ in all that they do, have less potential for their inequity to build up blinders in their lives – which results in less than optimal decision making.
So many times I can look back at past decisions and situations and say to myself, “How could I have been so blind?” or, “ Why didn’t I see that? That was such a dumb thing to do.” Now I am starting to see perhaps why I may have made certain decisions. I was seeing them in a particular way that was colored and blurred by other ‘stuff’ going on in my life. Stuff being areas where I was falling short in living life according to God’s guide.
This admonition to become more blameless, more ‘pure in heart,’ has impact now and to the future. It is indeed a refreshing argument as to ‘why’ we can be doubly blessed by choosing to follow God’s guide for living instead of living according to this world’s and this culture’s set of values. You are more blameless at judgement for your eternity (great) and also your thinking is more clear to see situations, problems, and opportunities for what they truly are. I’m asking myself – who doesn’t want to see things as clearly as possible? Nobody right? Any person looking out a smudgy window, or wearing dirty glasses, or looking through an out of focus camera lens – are going to to do whatever they can to get more clarity. I wear glasses for distance. I love my latest prescription in fact. My eye doc said I essentially have 10/15 vision with them. Everything is amazingly crisp. And I can’t stand looking them when they are dirty. I’m addicted to having that clarity. So – in life, I want to become addicted to having that kind of clarity about everything going on around and with me, and even with those around me and especially those I care about.
Will I ever get to a place where my ‘lenses for living’ are completely clean and clear? I don’t think so, but I can work to get them ‘more clear’ for sure. I can make them better, absolutely. I am pretty sure that as long as I am alive, I will continue to find ‘opportunities’ (staying positive here) to live a more ‘clean’ life, and align my thoughts and actions to be more congruent with the timeless guide for living that Jesus laid down. By looking at these as opportunities instead of beating myself up for not being perfect already(not possible for any of us), I can tell myself that through every new ‘optimizations’ or ‘life hacks’ I implement – I will be setting myself up for being able to see things that come before me more clearly for what they really are, and make even better decisions around them. That is great motivation to remind myself of.
And that moves me closer to Andy Stanley’s tagline for http://YourMove.is: “Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets.” Definitely, definitely – the direction I want to be heading in.